New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Mariano Rivera, considered the greatest closer in baseball history, informed him earlier this week that he is unsure if he will play again or retire.If Mo decides he wants to hang it up and spend more time with his family that's certainly something he's earned.
Cashman told ESPN New York that on Tuesday he and Rivera had a conversation in which Rivera said he was unsure if he will return for a 19th season.
"He wasn't certain on what he is going to do," Cashman said.
Now, with his 43rd birthday next month and as he's worked very hard during his rehab to return, Rivera has the familiar tug that he has carried for many years of possibly wanting to stay home with his family and call it a career.
In the past, Rivera also has emphasized that he expects to leave the game as an elite player. If he has doubts that he will retain his skill level, that also could tilt him to call it a career with the most saves (608) in MLB history and five World Series rings.
The negotiations for a new contract also could be a bit complicated. Rivera made $15 million last season, but even with the front office's utmost respect for him, it is unclear what it will offer him considering he would be returning after a season in which he pitched in only nine games.
During his end-of-season news conference on Wednesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi hinted that Rivera may not return.
"From watching how he rehabbed and everything that he was going through, picked up a baseball sooner than he was supposed to and got his hand smacked a little bit, that would tell me that Mo probably wants to play," Girardi said. "But in saying that, it's a decision that I think he'll sit down with his family, evaluate where he is maybe a little bit later in this process and how he feels and how his arm feels, to feel like you think you can compete at the same level he's always competed at. But I don't think that you push a rehab like he pushed it unless you think that you possibly have some interest in coming back."
Now, if the Yankees make money an issue and pull the same crap they did with Jeter a few years back than I think we all should be pretty pissed off. This is Mariano Rivera for crying out loud, if he wants to return you give him basically whatever he wants, especially if it's on a one or two year deal.